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I've asked a similar question over a year ago, but am asking again for new information if anyone has it.

 

Any words of wisdom for applying to music schools? Both stand-alone conservatories and those that are within a university?

 

DDs Plan A is a performance degree. Possibly with a minor in business or computer science. Possibly with a double-major (she will have quite a few accumulated CLEP/AP credits by then, so at some schools, this might be a realistic possibility). All of these "possibilities" simply vary depending on which school we're talking about, and what will be, or won't be, possible there.

 

She and I are both Type A Planners. The knowledge that she will not have any scholarship info in her hands until end-of-March or sometime in April is killing us slowly.

 

She has a Plan B and a Plan C already mostly mapped out (finalized today!). It's the Plan A that's giving us the vapors.

 

Any tips?

 

(DD1 was a recruited athlete... so I keep defaulting to how the coaches handle recruits and have to smack myself into remembering that the music world is *quite* different!)

 

Specific Questions:

 

1) Did your student sit-in on ANY classes at that school they applied to? IF so, did they sit in on a music class, or a gen ed class?

 

2) Did your student meet ANYONE (a student) within the program itself when they had their audition/interview? IF so, did they just "happen upon" this person, or did a professor set someone up to walk them around a bit?

 

3) Was your student able to watch any of the concerts, recitals, master classes happening at the time of their visit? IF so, did anyone interact with them at these events?

 

4) Did your student take a private lesson with a professor(s) at all of the schools they auditioned for previous to their scheduled audition? I imagine this is not normal, since the distance between programs is quite great. So, sometimes the audition is the FIRST time the student meets the professor? (and sometimes, I understand, the main professor isn't even always there for auditions, but instead, they video the auditions to watch later)

 

5) Was your student "cut off' during their audition? I keep reading that a student might be cut off once a professor has "heard enough to make a decision" and that this "has nothing to do with the likelihood of acceptance." But we've not yet met anyone who was cut off... so... how common IS this? (I know it probably varies wildly from instrument-to-instrument, but I'm still curious)

 

Finding "her tribe" of people within this instrument is actually a huge concern of dds. The "type" of person who plays this instrument seems to be in 2 or 3 solid boxes. Some programs are definitely geared toward one of those particular boxes and if she can't interact with other students, she can't really tell what type of Box this program caters to...

 

She has friends going through the process this year and NONE of them have sat-in on any classes at any of the schools they auditioned for! I would've thought that was "normal," but now we're doubting this!

 

There are a couple within-driving-distance schools she's interested in, and I'm wondering if we should spend time over the next two months, or early fall visiting those and meeting the professors... or if she should just wait until application time? Showing interest is good, though, right?

 

Argh. It's all too much. :cheers2:

 

 

Edited by hopskipjump
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I am following this because have a junior interested in music programs also.   Right now he's preferring conservatories within Universities or possibly even a BA if the right music teachers were available.  He'd prefer a program with some flexibility.  

 

Have you visited any schools at all?  I will say visiting some campuses and meeting with some music teachers, even though there are definitely some further flung options we would not visit until auditioning has given some clarity to the process for my kid.  

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My dd is a performance major at conservatory.  She did all of the things you ask about over the course of junior and senior year.  Junior year, she visited multiple conservatories and did the following: asked for and took a sample lesson ($100 - 200.00) to feel out the "fit" with the teacher, sat in on a theory class, did the typical college tour and info session, went to a concert and a masterclass if one was happening at the time, and actively approached current students in the studio to ask questions and to get the feel of the fit of the studio.  

 

The sample lessons were great to both feel out the teacher and also to help her focus on the practice schedule for auditions - she knew more of what they were looking for.  She also found that meeting the teachers was really inspiring and helped her push herself through the exhausting preparation for auditions.

 

The conversations with current students were super helpful both in terms of imagining herself at each school, and also for actual tips about auditioning for the particular teacher. These were not set up by the department or teacher during the visit, but happened quite randomly at the coffee shop and in the hall.  She's really shy and surprised herself by reaching out - maybe being out of her usual comfort zone made it somehow easier.  

 

When it came time for auditions the following year, she felt more prepared because she had met the teacher and knew the school.  I think the teachers may have remembered her from taking the sample lesson.  During audition season, the schools all had conservatory-specific info sessions and we also went to a few cheese-and-crackers events with current students, set up by some of the schools with the purpose of prospies asking questions.  You tend to see the same students and parents at every school as auditions are staggered over several weeks, with the parents carrying audition clothes and coats and snacks and tea.

 

She was never cut off during auditions, though told not to "repeat" during certain pieces.  This may be instrument-specific though, I also heard other parents say their kids had been stopped.  Some of the more popular instruments have pre-screening requirements, which means they won't be asked to audition unless they pass the pre-screen.  I believe voice, piano, flute, and cello are some of the ones with pre-screening.

 

Like you, I had an older student who lived in a totally different academic world and so had to figure it all out anew.  Auditions were a sweet season of our lives together, despite the stress.  I learned the tricks of how to support her - hot mugs of tea to keep her hands warm, bringing every bit of clothing and gear you might possibly need, double checking the music/tuner/tuning key, and of course keeping a steady stream of calming jokes at the ready.  Depending on your child's instrument, you have to think about where she can practice - in a hotel room?  On campus in a practice room?  In the car?  

 

A big question on the East Coast is fly or drive to auditions?  Auditions are always in the dead of winter, and they almost never re-schedule, so if you fly and your flight is cancelled you are out of luck.  If you drive and the road gets closed for lake effect snow, you are out of luck.  If you arrive after a white-knuckle car ride and your child is tired and flustered, she needs to have that inner reserve of groundedness to power through.  My daughter's year happened to be a year of enormous snow storms, so we drove to several schools and hauled her massive concert grand harp over snowbanks.  We flew to one so she couldn't have her own harp, and then got stuck at the airport on the way home due to another storm.  No practicing for three days but we played lots of rummy and I read her the Odyssey (which was weirdly appropriate.)

 

The waiting for financial aid and merit scholarships is hard, especially if your dd is looking at schools in Canada. Some conservatories are need-blind and some are need-aware, same as liberal arts colleges.  Auditions count for the majority of the admissions process to conservatory, but obviously not to the college side of the double degree programs.  I don't have any info as to merit scholarships for double-degree, hopefully others here know more about the double-degree option.  I do know that each year students at her conservatory apply to become double-degree after being there a few years, rather than starting out that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harpymom
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1) Dd sat in on a few classes -- mostly music ones but others if relevant music classes weren't convenient.

 

2) My dd is very friendly and definitely approached people and talked about the program, the professors, etc.

 

3) When possible, she attended concerts and master classes, but since she did a few of her visits over the summer it wasn't always possible.

 

4) YES! Do take "sample lessons"! Teachers are VERY different from one another, and just because someone is a great teacher doesn't mean he/she will be great for your student! Dd ended up not applying to two schools that she thought she would apply to because she didn't like the "rapport" in the sample lesson.

 

Bonus for taking a sample lesson -- the profs know you in the audition. There is nothing like being escorted out of an audition at a big-name music school and hearing the words, "We hope to see you in the fall!" But during various music camps she had worked with all the profs and they had seen what she could do, so the audition was just a formality.

 

5) Dd has been "cut off" during some auditions. If time is at a premium, they will cut people off! And in my dd's experience, being cut off has no relation to acceptance or merit aid.......

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"A big question on the East Coast is fly or drive to auditions? Auditions are always in the dead of winter, and they almost never re-schedule, so if you fly and your flight is cancelled you are out of luck."

 

 

A friend's student had this happen at Julliard. It has been a few years, so I don't remember the exact details. It had something to do with NY weather, and it had nothing to do with the student. Then, there was some kind of issue with rescheduling. Julliard wasn't first choice, so the friend didn't jump through the hoops to reschedule.

 

Ironically, Julliard is closed today due to weather. Are auditions held in the middle of the week?

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Yes to sample lessons and yes to sitting in on the orchestra (if applicable) and playing along, even if the potential student sits in the back. Yes to master classes (even if just observing). Sit it on gen ed classes too if at all possible. Yes to attending concerts too. 

 

DD met a prof her sophomore or junior year of high school and spent a lot of time at the school and met students and really connected. That prof left that school (and didn't go to another one) after dd was accepted to the school, the school of music, the honors program, and had been offered a scholarship. We were devastated. 

 

My dd took a ton of college credits w/ her too, but as a mus ed major, never, ever had less than 18 credits. Often she had 19-20. She also worked on campus her sophomore, junior and senior years. Besides the 18+ credits, and her job, she had orchestra rehearsal (which required more hours leading up to a concert), and various required performances several weekends throughout the year. The only time she came home for a full weekend was the weekend after she graduated. (Not counting breaks, just weekends.) Oh, she played gigs whenever she could. 

 

All that to say, sure, a double major is possible, depending on the school's requirements, but boy, howdy, are those music majors die hards!

 

Not that this will be a problem for your child, but we knew a student who got into one university, but was not accepted into that uni's school of music. We knew another student who auditioned for and was accepted into the same uni's SoM, but didn't get accepted into the uni! The heart break. (Dd was accepted to both at every place she applied. Whew!)

 

I'm curious about what instrument your child plays, but I am a privacy freak (OK, just a freak), so I won't ask. 

 

One more thing: SoM auditions began in the fall and the last possible audition date was in Feb. I hated waiting so long to know about the SoM's acceptance, but dd wanted to audition later. She entered all the local music competitions and used those as practice for her auditions. Smart cookie, that girl but I think all musicians are brilliant! (I'm not one, obviously!)

 

Best of luck. I recall those days so well. Tom Petty really did

 

Edited by Angie in VA
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And double-majoring in music is challenging.

 

Dd thought she wanted to double-major. After talking with LOTS of people, she decided not to. Apparently most people who double-major love music but their main focus is the other major, so the music department often won't take double-majors seriously.

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Have you visited any schools at all?  I will say visiting some campuses and meeting with some music teachers, even though there are definitely some further flung options we would not visit until auditioning has given some clarity to the process for my kid.  

 

Yes, we've "visited" some schools and have attended recitals, concerts, master classes that were open to the public... but she hasn't "officially" visited any yet (other than the nearby one, where she practically lives). There are maybe two within driving distance. The rest are a trek.

 

My dd is a performance major at conservatory.  She did all of the things you ask about over the course of junior and senior year.  Junior year, she visited multiple conservatories and did the following: asked for and took a sample lesson ($100 - 200.00) to feel out the "fit" with the teacher, sat in on a theory class, did the typical college tour and info session, went to a concert and a masterclass if one was happening at the time, and actively approached current students in the studio to ask questions and to get the feel of the fit of the studio.  

 

Did you usually set up these class sit-ins through the auditioning/professor or through admissions?

 

The sample lessons were great to both feel out the teacher and also to help her focus on the practice schedule for auditions - she knew more of what they were looking for.  She also found that meeting the teachers was really inspiring and helped her push herself through the exhausting preparation for auditions.

 

The conversations with current students were super helpful both in terms of imagining herself at each school, and also for actual tips about auditioning for the particular teacher. These were not set up by the department or teacher during the visit, but happened quite randomly at the coffee shop and in the hall.  She's really shy and surprised herself by reaching out - maybe being out of her usual comfort zone made it somehow easier.  

 

Very good to know!

 

When it came time for auditions the following year, she felt more prepared because she had met the teacher and knew the school.  I think the teachers may have remembered her from taking the sample lesson.  During audition season, the schools all had conservatory-specific info sessions and we also went to a few cheese-and-crackers events with current students, set up by some of the schools with the purpose of prospies asking questions.  You tend to see the same students and parents at every school as auditions are staggered over several weeks, with the parents carrying audition clothes and coats and snacks and tea.

 

:laugh:  We already see so many of the same faces at various competitions, etc we have attended! Especially for my son, who plays a more common instrument... (although those parents are the "dance parents" of the instrument world. Whoo boy!)

 

She was never cut off during auditions, though told not to "repeat" during certain pieces.  This may be instrument-specific though, I also heard other parents say their kids had been stopped.  Some of the more popular instruments have pre-screening requirements, which means they won't be asked to audition unless they pass the pre-screen.  I believe voice, piano, flute, and cello are some of the ones with pre-screening.

 

We are simultaneously relieved at the schools that require pre-screens and horrified. lol It will save $$ if she's not invited to a live audition (as opposed to having to do a "live" First Round audition...) - but that could surely knock her confidence out of whack to find that out in the middle of everything!

 

Like you, I had an older student who lived in a totally different academic world and so had to figure it all out anew.  Auditions were a sweet season of our lives together, despite the stress.  I learned the tricks of how to support her - hot mugs of tea to keep her hands warm, bringing every bit of clothing and gear you might possibly need, double checking the music/tuner/tuning key, and of course keeping a steady stream of calming jokes at the ready.  Depending on your child's instrument, you have to think about where she can practice - in a hotel room?  On campus in a practice room?  In the car?  

 

THIS is what we've learned! Bring ALL The clothes. KEEP warm!  DS had a devastating recent audition because it was on a freezing Saturday and the building was barely heated. He was running up and down the hallway and doing jumping-jacks while in his coat. His hands were frozen and didn't move properly. We were in the warm-up room with violinists, cellists, and it was horrible! You could tell the parents who were more "pro" at this because they had warm containers of tea, hand-warmers, etc. My kid had the worst audition of his life, and we laugh about "Wow! That was a way to learn THAT lesson!" So now I practically bring a rolling duffle of clothes, gloves, hats, hand-warmers, etc. :smilielol5:  Lesson LEARNED!

 

A big question on the East Coast is fly or drive to auditions?  Auditions are always in the dead of winter, and they almost never re-schedule, so if you fly and your flight is cancelled you are out of luck.  If you drive and the road gets closed for lake effect snow, you are out of luck.  If you arrive after a white-knuckle car ride and your child is tired and flustered, she needs to have that inner reserve of groundedness to power through.  My daughter's year happened to be a year of enormous snow storms, so we drove to several schools and hauled her massive concert grand harp over snowbanks.  We flew to one so she couldn't have her own harp, and then got stuck at the airport on the way home due to another storm.  No practicing for three days but we played lots of rummy and I read her the Odyssey (which was weirdly appropriate.)

 

:ohmy:  THAT is good to know! Yikes! Yes, some of the NE schools are on her list and their auditions seem to be in January and February? And they are a long, long way from us. Missing an audition due to weather will be financially devastating - we couldn't make another trip even if they did reschedule. We're trying to plan this out as economically as possible (ha!)... so weather mishaps will be catastrophic. Might have to investigate travel insurance on those trips, just in case.

 

 

The waiting for financial aid and merit scholarships is hard, especially if your dd is looking at schools in Canada. Some conservatories are need-blind and some are need-aware, same as liberal arts colleges.  Auditions count for the majority of the admissions process to conservatory, but obviously not to the college side of the double degree programs.  I don't have any info as to merit scholarships for double-degree, hopefully others here know more about the double-degree option.  I do know that each year students at her conservatory apply to become double-degree after being there a few years, rather than starting out that way.

 

THANK YOU!!

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1) Dd sat in on a few classes -- mostly music ones but others if relevant music classes weren't convenient.

 

2) My dd is very friendly and definitely approached people and talked about the program, the professors, etc.

 

3) When possible, she attended concerts and master classes, but since she did a few of her visits over the summer it wasn't always possible.

 

4) YES! Do take "sample lessons"! Teachers are VERY different from one another, and just because someone is a great teacher doesn't mean he/she will be great for your student! Dd ended up not applying to two schools that she thought she would apply to because she didn't like the "rapport" in the sample lesson.

 

We have discovered this for sure. There is a brilliant teacher my son had a lesson with and did. not. like. him. one. bit. So, it was easy to cross him off ds's potential list! For dd, same thing... her instrument tends to be a boy's club and some of the "brilliant" instructors are flat-out sexist.

This is why professor-selection is so important to her (and the dynamics of the studio). If a favored professor leaves and they replace them with one of these jugheads... it's not going to be a pretty time. Blech.

 

Bonus for taking a sample lesson -- the profs know you in the audition. There is nothing like being escorted out of an audition at a big-name music school and hearing the words, "We hope to see you in the fall!" But during various music camps she had worked with all the profs and they had seen what she could do, so the audition was just a formality.

 

5) Dd has been "cut off" during some auditions. If time is at a premium, they will cut people off! And in my dd's experience, being cut off has no relation to acceptance or merit aid.......

 

VERY Good to know!

 

 

"A big question on the East Coast is fly or drive to auditions? Auditions are always in the dead of winter, and they almost never re-schedule, so if you fly and your flight is cancelled you are out of luck."

 

 

A friend's student had this happen at Julliard. It has been a few years, so I don't remember the exact details. It had something to do with NY weather, and it had nothing to do with the student. Then, there was some kind of issue with rescheduling. Julliard wasn't first choice, so the friend didn't jump through the hoops to reschedule.

 

:svengo: Nightmare!!!

 

Ironically, Julliard is closed today due to weather. Are auditions held in the middle of the week?

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Yes to sample lessons and yes to sitting in on the orchestra (if applicable) and playing along, even if the potential student sits in the back. Yes to master classes (even if just observing). Sit it on gen ed classes too if at all possible. Yes to attending concerts too. 

 

Did you set these sitting-in classes through the professor or through general admissions/visitors? I know we'd set up the lesson through the professor/studio ourselves - just unsure who to ask about sitting in on classes.

 

DD met a prof her sophomore or junior year of high school and spent a lot of time at the school and met students and really connected. That prof left that school (and didn't go to another one) after dd was accepted to the school, the school of music, the honors program, and had been offered a scholarship. We were devastated. 

 

THIS is what has just happened. DD had a far-and-away first choice school. It's nearby. She has spent half her life there for the past 3 years (the professor allows her to sit in on master classes, she participates in certain aspects of some classes). She's already working on her essay for the honors program. She has been taking lessons with the professor since fall... and he just announced that he is leaving his position at the end of this year AND not going elsewhere (he's changed careers entirely).

 

It was quite the blow, to say the least. The kind that sucks the air out of the room. *sigh*

 

So. We're kind of flailing. They'll hire a new prof next year, but if he's as good/experienced a hire as they are expecting, there's a chance he'll have his "own" seniors who want to apply to this program and dd will have a different, unexpected type of competition for scholarships ---- and he'll have his own favorites, while dd will be the favorite of the "previous lion king," so to speak. We just have no idea how it will play out. :/ Sucks.

 

My dd took a ton of college credits w/ her too, but as a mus ed major, never, ever had less than 18 credits. Often she had 19-20. She also worked on campus her sophomore, junior and senior years. Besides the 18+ credits, and her job, she had orchestra rehearsal (which required more hours leading up to a concert), and various required performances several weekends throughout the year. The only time she came home for a full weekend was the weekend after she graduated. (Not counting breaks, just weekends.) Oh, she played gigs whenever she could.

 

All that to say, sure, a double major is possible, depending on the school's requirements, but boy, howdy, are those music majors die hards!

 

Whooo boy!

 

On *paper* it seems do-able... but she's been told many times that "on paper" does not translate to real-life, so she's prepared. The farther she gets into this, the more comfortable she is with the idea of "just" being a music major. She's kind of in shock that she's considering such a thing (original plan involved getting a degree that would ensure lots of $$ on the other side. This certainly is not it!!)

 

Not that this will be a problem for your child, but we knew a student who got into one university, but was not accepted into that uni's school of music. We knew another student who auditioned for and was accepted into the same uni's SoM, but didn't get accepted into the uni! The heart break. (Dd was accepted to both at every place she applied. Whew!)

 

Eeeek! There is one school in particular that we aren't sure either way. It's an out of state "private ivy" with "extra" homeschool-applicant requirements AND the music program is very competitive as well. It's intimidating to apply at a place where you could possibly be rejected - twice!!

 

I'm curious about what instrument your child plays, but I am a privacy freak (OK, just a freak), so I won't ask. 

 

One more thing: SoM auditions began in the fall and the last possible audition date was in Feb. I hated waiting so long to know about the SoM's acceptance, but dd wanted to audition later. She entered all the local music competitions and used those as practice for her auditions. Smart cookie, that girl but I think all musicians are brilliant! (I'm not one, obviously!)

 

LOL! DD already has a spreadsheet of competitions made up! We've got a giant desktop calendar where we can keep track of all the "potential" competitions, school deadlines, possible audition weeks (based upon this year's dates). It's quite a juggling act!

 

Best of luck. I recall those days so well. Tom Petty really did say it best.

 

Gonna add that to our playlist to listen nonstop after the fall semester has started!

 

 

And double-majoring in music is challenging.

 

Dd thought she wanted to double-major. After talking with LOTS of people, she decided not to. Apparently most people who double-major love music but their main focus is the other major, so the music department often won't take double-majors seriously.

 

Interesting about being taken seriously. Definitely something to think about!! She was considering a BA, but we were warned that BAs are often not taken as seriously either.

 

The music world is so snooty!!   :rolleyes:  (said by a non-musician!! :p )

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THANK YOU GUYS!!!!  :grouphug:

 

 

A bit more info:

 

While dd hasn't traveled to universities to make official visits, she has met several professors when they have been here, locally, for master classes. Or at competitions. Or when she's been at a summer music festival/workshop and has had lessons and master classes with those individuals while there for weeks at a time.

 

So, the visits will be brand-new, but she will be visiting *some* familiar faces and wants to take a lesson with those familiar faces 'in their own territory" so to speak.

 

How do you ask how much they charge for a lesson? Do you just come out and ask while setting up the time for the lesson? Hi Professor so-and-so, I would like a private lesson with you when I'm there visiting the school... btw - how expensive is this gonna be? :lol:

 

DS has had a couple of lessons with university professors and they haven't charged him anything (we didn't ask in advance... I just sent him in with $$ and when he asked at the end of the lesson, they waived him off...)

Edited by hopskipjump
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We never paid for a sample lesson.

 

Maybe it was dd's instrument, maybe it was because we didn't offer to pay, maybe it was because she knew all the profs beforehand from competitions and summer programs, but no one asked and we didn't pay.

 

Our big expense was the travel, since there were lots of trips -- a preliminary trip to each of schools she was considering and then the auditions.

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 Are auditions held in the middle of the week?

I have only heard of auditions being on weekends, which was my dd's experience.  It's difficult for me to imagine how much harder it would be for kids in school to schedule sample lessons and travel time, let alone the right amount of practice time while maintaining a functional school presence!  Grateful to homeschool...

 

How do you ask how much they charge for a lesson?

She always asked in the first contact what was the fee for a sample lesson, and always paid one.  The teacher with whom she now studies has a busy performance schedule and so offered sample lessons only on certain days of the year, and never at the school where dd now goes but at her other university studio where dd had no interest in going.   

 

and he just announced that he is leaving his position at the end of this year AND not going elsewhere (he's changed careers entirely). 

I'm so sorry - that's rough.  Hopefully he can give your dd his best suggestion for the best fit teacher - it seems like the music world is pretty small and well-connected to each other. 

 

Did you usually set up these class sit-ins through the auditioning/professor or through admissions?

Always through the conservatory admissions office - but she only sat in on music-related classes, so would've set up gen-ed classes through the college admissions side.  Some stand-alone conservatories offer gen-ed classes through nearby universities, so you'd probably have to ask through those other admissions offices.

 

Music is ridiculously expensive to study through the high school years at this level - instruments, travel, lessons, summer festivals. Getting her into college with solid scholarships and away from our household budget was definitely a net gain financially!  Which sounds crazy, but isn't.

 

Best of luck, break a leg, and blessings to your young people.  When people roll their eyes and ask how will she support herself as a musician/why did you let her go to college for music I say two things: it's who she is and she can't not do it, and that music is more important than ever in this conflict-filled world.

Edited by Harpymom
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When my son was e-mailing to set up lesson I'd always have him add something like "We are happy to pay your going rate for a sample lesson".  We've actually not paid yet, I suspect we will at some point.  It just depends on the school/program/individual teacher.    Other classes we've attended and private music tours we've set up though the music departments at schools.  

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Interesting about being taken seriously. Definitely something to think about!! She was considering a BA, but we were warned that BAs are often not taken as seriously either.

 

The music world is so snooty!!   :rolleyes:  (said by a non-musician!! :p )

 

Oh, yeah. We knew one VERY good musician who was double majoring and b/c he wasn't a performance major (but was "just" getting a BA in music), his prof treated him like dirt. As if performance majors pay more tuition. Ha! All music majors pay the same amount and the practice time was the same for private lessons, and orchestra rehearsal req's were the same for all musicians, so get off your high horse already!

Edited by Angie in VA
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hopskipjump quoted me and replied w/in the quote. My answers to her answers are in bold.

 

Yes to sample lessons and yes to sitting in on the orchestra (if applicable) and playing along, even if the potential student sits in the back. Yes to master classes (even if just observing). Sit it on gen ed classes too if at all possible. Yes to attending concerts too. 

 

Did you set these sitting-in classes through the professor or through general admissions/visitors? I know we'd set up the lesson through the professor/studio ourselves - just unsure who to ask about sitting in on classes.

 

Honestly, it's been years and super-organized dd set all that up. She is a stickler, so I highly doubt she just left it to someone in the department to set up. ;)

 

DD met a prof her sophomore or junior year of high school and spent a lot of time at the school and met students and really connected. That prof left that school (and didn't go to another one) after dd was accepted to the school, the school of music, the honors program, and had been offered a scholarship. We were devastated. 

 

THIS is what has just happened. DD had a far-and-away first choice school. It's nearby. She has spent half her life there for the past 3 years (the professor allows her to sit in on master classes, she participates in certain aspects of some classes). She's already working on her essay for the honors program. She has been taking lessons with the professor since fall... and he just announced that he is leaving his position at the end of this year AND not going elsewhere (he's changed careers entirely).

 

It was quite the blow, to say the least. The kind that sucks the air out of the room. *sigh*

 

So. We're kind of flailing. They'll hire a new prof next year, but if he's as good/experienced a hire as they are expecting, there's a chance he'll have his "own" seniors who want to apply to this program and dd will have a different, unexpected type of competition for scholarships ---- and he'll have his own favorites, while dd will be the favorite of the "previous lion king," so to speak. We just have no idea how it will play out. :/ Sucks.

 

Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm sure everyone reading this thread gets it, but I didn't realize until dd applied to colleges that fine arts majors choose a school for ONE PROFESSOR. It is forever a part of their bio "Studied under SoAnd So." 

 

I'm just sorry. So sorry. We know that heart ache all too well. 

 

My dd took a ton of college credits w/ her too, but as a mus ed major, never, ever had less than 18 credits. Often she had 19-20. She also worked on campus her sophomore, junior and senior years. Besides the 18+ credits, and her job, she had orchestra rehearsal (which required more hours leading up to a concert), and various required performances several weekends throughout the year. The only time she came home for a full weekend was the weekend after she graduated. (Not counting breaks, just weekends.) Oh, she played gigs whenever she could.

 

All that to say, sure, a double major is possible, depending on the school's requirements, but boy, howdy, are those music majors die hards!

 

Whooo boy!

On *paper* it seems do-able... but she's been told many times that "on paper" does not translate to real-life, so she's prepared. The farther she gets into this, the more comfortable she is with the idea of "just" being a music major. She's kind of in shock that she's considering such a thing (original plan involved getting a degree that would ensure lots of $$ on the other side. This certainly is not it!!)

 

I am not saying it can't be done, but dd just shared that orchestra will rehearse 3 hours a day in order to play for something near graduation time at the school. Add in prepping for jury, studying for finals for other classes, etc. and that makes for some major stress. (And risk of injury from overplaying.)

 

Not that this will be a problem for your child, but we knew a student who got into one university, but was not accepted into that uni's school of music. We knew another student who auditioned for and was accepted into the same uni's SoM, but didn't get accepted into the uni! The heart break. (Dd was accepted to both at every place she applied. Whew!)

 

Eeeek! There is one school in particular that we aren't sure either way. It's an out of state "private ivy" with "extra" homeschool-applicant requirements AND the music program is very competitive as well. It's intimidating to apply at a place where you could possibly be rejected - twice!!

 

But as Wonderful Music Teacher taught my children, "You learn more from your 'failures' than you do from your successes." 

 

I hope your dc is not rejected even once!

 

I'm curious about what instrument your child plays, but I am a privacy freak (OK, just a freak), so I won't ask. 

 

One more thing: SoM auditions began in the fall and the last possible audition date was in Feb. I hated waiting so long to know about the SoM's acceptance, but dd wanted to audition later. She entered all the local music competitions and used those as practice for her auditions. Smart cookie, that girl but I think all musicians are brilliant! (I'm not one, obviously!)

LOL! DD already has a spreadsheet of competitions made up! We've got a giant desktop calendar where we can keep track of all the "potential" competitions, school deadlines, possible audition weeks (based upon this year's dates). It's quite a juggling act!

 

Just another reason why I know musicians are brilliant!

 

Best of luck. I recall those days so well. Tom Petty really did 

 

Gonna add that to our playlist to listen nonstop after the fall semester has started!

 

Don't forget this one. My personal fave for senior year and the college app process! 

 

There really is a God on the other side. Promise!

 

Edited by Angie in VA
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Dd is going to major in Music Ed. It is jam-packed as a major, but one comes out employable.She thought of going the conservatory route but really didn't consider herself at a performance major level. Anyway, best to you and your child!

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I have heard there can be differences in how BM's and BA's of music are treated in schools of music or conservatory programs.  However, for schools that don't have a BM available and a small number of BA's and the right faculty, I know a number of people who've had a really amazing experience.  At a minimum, my kid will apply to a couple BA programs as a safety. 

 

My kid really would prefer a more flexible program than is available in most conservatories.  He has played piano for 13 years and has taken voice for 5 and  could do performance in either of those.  However, he is also interested in theater and writing and composition.  I actually think a conservatory program within a strong LAC could be a great fit for him.  Or even a strong LAC maybe close to a metro with excellent music teachers.  I also think the Frost School at the University of Miami sounds pretty great.  

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Dd is going to major in Music Ed. It is jam-packed as a major, but one comes out employable.She thought of going the conservatory route but really didn't consider herself at a performance major level. Anyway, best to you and your child!

 

Zactly. My mus ed grad is a licensed teacher and gets paid nicely just subbing right now and is paid more b/c of that license. Not too shabby for a FT grad student who needs money even though she received a grad assistant position that pays her tuition plus a stipend.  

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and he just announced that he is leaving his position at the end of this year AND not going elsewhere (he's changed careers entirely). 

I'm so sorry - that's rough.  Hopefully he can give your dd his best suggestion for the best fit teacher - it seems like the music world is pretty small and well-connected to each other. 

 

Music is ridiculously expensive to study through the high school years at this level - instruments, travel, lessons, summer festivals. Getting her into college with solid scholarships and away from our household budget was definitely a net gain financially!  Which sounds crazy, but isn't.

 

Best of luck, break a leg, and blessings to your young people.  When people roll their eyes and ask how will she support herself as a musician/why did you let her go to college for music I say two things: it's who she is and she can't not do it, and that music is more important than ever in this conflict-filled world.

 

It's honestly so nice to have some others understand the pain dd went through when the professor gave her the news. We're big believers in "What's meant to be..." but, still. OUCH!

 

I'm laughing at your comment about getting music kids into college and it winding up cheaper!! That's how we felt when DD1-the-athlete went to college! I was like, "Wow! We don't have to pay for her travel anymore! Someone else does that!" and "We don't have to pay for her uniforms anymore! Someone else does that!!" "No more monthly fees!" Woot!! :hurray:

 

And - too true about the music being more important than ever. Amen to that.

 

DD has plans "other" than being a musician. She simply wants to continue focusing on her instrument because her other interests don't necessarily "need" a degree. So, she's hoping to blend them all into an entrepreneurial lifestyle throughout school and beyond.

 

She considered music ed, but reallyreallyreallyreally doesn't want to have to learn other instruments (she plays a string, a woodwind, and brass instruments already... so I'm not sure why she's so inflexible about this. But there it is.)

Edited by hopskipjump
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Are auditions held in the middle of the week?

 

I have only heard of auditions being on weekends, which was my dd's experience. It's difficult for me to imagine how much harder it would be for kids in school to schedule sample lessons and travel time, let alone the right amount of practice time while maintaining a functional school presence! Grateful to homeschool.

 

Good to hear. Seeing that the school was closed the other day made me wonder after my friend's experience. My friend homeschooled the end of high school for that exact reason; the rest of the kids went to public school.

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Music is ridiculously expensive to study through the high school years at this level - instruments, travel, lessons, summer festivals. Getting her into college with solid scholarships and away from our household budget was definitely a net gain financially! Which sounds crazy, but isn't.

I must confess I don't understand this. Unless my daughter goes to somewhere like Curtis which doesn't make students pay tuition I'm looking at 40-60k a year. Most scholarships I've seen are on a year by year basis so you have to audition each year for them and many are in the 1-12k range nowhere near full tuition. Or did you manage some really fabulous scholarships that are unlikely for an average student? My daughter is not an average musician but a pretty average (if that) student.

 

I'm just wondering if I am missing something because all my research tells me music school is out of our league and I hate to miss out on something because she has a passion but I also can't see getting mortgaged size debt for a music degree because honestly, where would that leave her?

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Going to college for music is like going to college for anything else. You can spend 40-60k but you certainly don’t need to. There are scholarships and opportunities out there for musicians. Go check out the music major board on college confidential. There are some extremely generous scholarships out there. Some entirely based on your entry audition.

 

I can tell you we don’t qualify for boat loads of financial aid, but we will not be spending 40-60k a year. Even if that means choosing the state flagship or the neighboring stste’s where we have reciprocity.

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Going to college for music is like going to college for anything else. You can spend 40-60k but you certainly don’t need to. There are scholarships and opportunities out there for musicians. Go check out the music major board on college confidential. There are some extremely generous scholarships out there. Some entirely based on your entry audition.

 

I can tell you we don’t qualify for boat loads of financial aid, but we will not be spending 40-60k a year. Even if that means choosing the state flagship or the neighboring stste’s where we have reciprocity.

I agree and I have been looking through a list by the harp society that has most (they tried to get everyone I believe) schools that actually have her insturment and searching and searching schools one by one but every scholarship I see is peanuts. Good thing I have a few more years to look. I'm afraid I don't want her to risk not finishing due to running out of money so I told her to not depend on ones that are only a year long and you have to reearn it the next year which was a large number of what we have found.

 

Except for a few tuition free ones with 4% acceptance rate. We will continue looking though.

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  • 1 month later...

I know you've gotten lots of answers but thought I'd chime in since I think every experience is different. My daughter plays bassoon, so her experience might be different than someone who plays a different instrument, since there are fewer students that play her instrument. A flute professor may not be able to give lessons to everyone that inquires since so many more kids play the flute, and there may be less scholarship money for that instrument as well.

1) Did your student sit-in on ANY classes at that school they applied to? IF so, did they sit in on a music class, or a gen ed class? Yes, dd sat in on several music classes (teacher studio, music theory, aural skills). She didn't sit in on any gen ed classes at the non-conservatory schools. I also don't recall her sitting in on any classes at the conservatories.

2) Did your student meet ANYONE (a student) within the program itself when they had their audition/interview? IF so, did they just "happen upon" this person, or did a professor set someone up to walk them around a bit? At several schools, she was paired up with a current student or she already knew someone who went there. They took her on a tour and she was able to attend class with them.

3) Was your student able to watch any of the concerts, recitals, master classes happening at the time of their visit? IF so, did anyone interact with them at these events?  We did not attend any performances, but if your visit coincides with a concert or recital they are usually free to the public. Many schools stream their performances online or there may be a YouTube video of a recital or concert if your student wants to hear the ensembles.

4) Did your student take a private lesson with a professor(s) at all of the schools they auditioned for previous to their scheduled audition? I imagine this is not normal since the distance between programs is quite great. So, sometimes the audition is the FIRST time the student meets the professor? (and sometimes, I understand, the main professor isn't even always there for auditions, but instead, they video the auditions to watch later) Yes, dd set up lessons with the professors at all the schools where she auditioned. She only paid for one lesson ($160) and walked out of that one and called the admissions department and canceled her audition, she disliked the professor that much. The professor at another conservatory responded to her request for a lesson with something like 'you come here and play for me and I'll tell you whether or not I think you'd be a good fit'.  She politiely declined the offer and withdrew her application. Anyone who did not respond to her request for a lesson was also taken off the audition list. She figured if they don't even have time to respond to her then she wouldn't want to be in their studio. So, in the end, she applied to 10 schools and auditioned at 4. Once she vistited a particular conservatory in December and that became her #1 school (where she got VERY positive feedback from the professor) her list became much shorter.

Note about auditions and weather: We decided to fly to the east coast auditions. We live in the midwest and figured even with a snowstorm here or there the chance of us getting there would be better flying than driving. Also, the two east coast auditions were not scheduled for the same weekend so we would have had to make two trips. We took our chances with flying. There was one audition we weren't sure she would make it to because of weather on our end, and the professor was more than happy to reschedule if needed. Most schools have several audition dates during Jan/Feb but none of ours overlapped so we thought we were going to have to take two trips to NY and one to Boston. Luckily one NY trip was dropped after she narrowed down her list and decided not to audition at the NY school.

5) Was your student "cut off' during their audition? I keep reading that a student might be cut off once a professor has "heard enough to make a decision" and that this "has nothing to do with the likelihood of acceptance." But we've not yet met anyone who was cut off... so... how common IS this? (I know it probably varies wildly from instrument-to-instrument, but I'm still curious) She was cut off in two auditions since the professor had already heard her play previously and they didn't need to hear her play the whole piece. Both schools offered admission and scholarships (one full tuition) so being cut off is not a good way to determine what they thought of your playing. If you've had a lesson or played for the professor previously they will usually give you lots of feedback so you will have an idea of what they think of your ability.

IMO the visit and lesson had the most impact on whether dd wanted to go to the school or not. In the end she decided that reputation was not enough to keep a school on the list if she didn't feel like she would fit in at that school. A school she thought looked great on paper was removed from the audition list because of a rude professor and students that did not interact with her at all during her visit. During the same trip, she vistited a school where the professor went out of their way to give her a positive experience and the students there were stopping to talk to her when she was just standing in the hallway waiting for her lesson. So I highly suggest a visit prior to the audition if you can make that happen.

A side note about cost: many of the schools dd applied to state that they don't give need-based aid, they only give scholarships based on your audition. One non-conservatory school gave her academic scholarship and also a talent scholarship. The others based her scholarship solely on her audition. So not only will you probably not find out about acceptance into a program until mid-March, you also won't know about scholarships until then and will have just a few weeks to make a decision. So there may be little time for another visit after you've been accepted before you make a decision.

In the end she was accepted at 3/4 schools and given nice scholarships (from $20K-full tuition) and will be going to a conservatory for music performance with a full-tuition scholarship. SO thankful that is all over with!!!

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On 4/25/2018 at 4:11 PM, brookspr said:

 The professor at another conservatory responded to her request for a lesson with something like 'you come here and play for me and I'll tell you whether or not I think you'd be a good fit'.  She politiely declined the offer and withdrew her app

 

 

I'm not a music person, so I have to ask: why was that a bad thing for him to offer? 

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IMHO,  a professor who responds that way may have a "king" complex.  That view of students is more self-centered: students aren't there to learn from him as much as to make him look good.  That may not have been the case with the prof described  - perhaps he just worded it poorly - but it sends up a red flag.  I saw this once in a master class given by a candidate for a university professor opening.  The man had been gracious, helpful, and encouraging when working with one of the top performers  in the department, but he turned impatient and hostile when working with a student with less skill.  That isn't the type of attitude one wants in an instructor,  and especially not at the price of college today!  

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Yes, what Klmama said! Most professors will do a trial lesson for applicants so the student can get to know the professor and vice versa. This prof made it clear that he would not be helping her out in any way other than to listen to her play and determine whether she was good enough to be in his studio. Not the kind of attitude she wanted in a professor she would have to work closely with for four years. Professors at other schools gave her well thought out critique and help that she was able to use when practicing for auditions. Some of them even commented on how much growth she showed over just a couple of months between their lesson and the audition. She is very good but knew that she wouldn't do well in a super competitive environment where people aren't willing to help you unless it helps them as well.

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